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040 North Bay Food System Advisor


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This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.



Marin County needs a Food Systems Advisor. The position will address our local agricultural producer's highest priority economic and marketability concerns as expressed at our most recent 2010 Marin County Agricultural Summit.
Posted Jun 25, 2012 12:20 PM by Marin Resource Conservation District
North Bay Counties including Marin and Sonoma are leaders in the local food movement and diversified agriculture for farm sustainability and food security. UCCE has been instrumental in helping farmers in related efforts. Local residents in lower income brackets, often miss the opportunity to obtain this fresh, locally produced food due to cost, cultural habits, and lack of access in their neighborhoods. UCCE could close this gap in our food system by also providing focused education to all local residents about the benefits of eating fresh, healthy, local foods, and how to obtain them at low cost. Please locate one of the Food System Advisors in the North Bay.
Posted Jun 25, 2012 12:26 PM by Lisa Bush
As food system change efforts continue to expand in the North County region, UCCE could play a critical role in resource sharing, community and organizational collaborations and provide critical education about the benefits of eating fresh, healthy, local foods, how to obtain them at low cost and how regional and local food systems can play a role in revitalizing urban and rural economies. Northern California leads the country in work in this area and having a UCCE Food System Advisor has the potential to increase the possibility of sustaining this work as resources and farmers become more scarce and eaters need resources for personal and community resilience measures. Please fund a Food System Advisor in the North Bay.
Posted Jun 25, 2012 1:48 PM by Jen Dalton
Farm Trails enthusiastically supports a UCCE Food System Advisor for the North Bay Counties. As our policy makers and the general public accept and embrace the concept of a regional food system and the benefits of locally sourced, fresh, healthy food, we need to have UCCE at the table. Our local Food System Alliance and others in the North Bay could benefit greatly from a UCCE Food System Advisor. Please fund a FSA position in the North Bay.
Posted Jun 26, 2012 2:58 PM by Bruce Shimizu, Sonoma County Farm Trails
Current and on-going food system collaborations in Sonoma, Marin, Napa, and Mendocino reflect the depth and breadth of work being done and the need for continued support coordinating this work. Sharing resources, marketing regionally, focusing on increased access to local food are some of the benefits that have come out of this regional effort. A UCCE Food System Advisor will provide essential support for healthy food systems in our region.
I am a member of the North Coast Regional Food Systems Network and Sonoma County Food System Alliance, and work through UCCE with beginning farmers and ranchers in Sonoma County.
Posted Jun 27, 2012 9:39 AM by Linda Peterson
As the Coordinator for the North Coast Regional Food System Network, a member of the Mendocino County Food Policy Council, a Director of the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-Op, and a small scale producer, I strongly support the creation of a UCCE Food System Adviser for the North Bay Counties. The development of a robust, local, and sustainable food system requires the diligent support and coordinated effort from a large number of stakeholders. This position will be of vital importance in advancing the economic development of our region through the revitalization of the food and farming sector.
Posted Jun 27, 2012 9:52 AM by Clifford Paulin
The North Bay area both benefits from and is threatened by its proximity to a huge urban area. A regional approach through the North Coast Regional Food System Network is in its early stages, working to address the area's challenges, identify gaps in our food systems, to identify opportunities, and to support priority elements of the area's food chain. A UCCE Food System Advisor for the North Bay would provide vitally needed support to these regional efforts. An investment by the UCCE in the form of an Advisor will in turn benefit from the collaboration that is already in place. This partnership will then be in a stronger position to achieve important and tangible results within the area's food systems, providing diverse economic opportunities and improved food security. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Posted Jun 27, 2012 11:02 AM by Liza Crosse
We strongly support the application for a North Bay Food Systems Advisor. The sustainability of farms and ranches in this area and their ability to produce food for people in the region would be greatly enhanced by the planning and development of regional infrastructure for processing, packaging, storage and distribution of locally produced agricultural products, and would also strengthen the partnership of organizations and agencies working to support productive agriculture in the region.
Posted Jun 27, 2012 12:08 PM by Robert Berner, Executive Director, Marin Agricultural Land Trust
This is an important position to further the work of building a sustainable regional food system in the North Bay. It will help build infrastructure and collaboration which will benefit our farmers and our communities.
Posted Jun 27, 2012 2:15 PM by Constance Washburn
In recent years several organizations and dozens of individuals have been doing the groundwork to boost our local agriculture and food system to a new level of productivity. The Sonoma Co. Food System Alliance has almost completed a Food Action Plan to serve as a "General Plan" for agencies and businesses on all levels. People's Harvest in Petaluma and the new expanded site for the Redwood Empire Food Bank will provide "food hubs" to bring more locally produced food to market and increase food security in our region. Model programs have been launched in several North Bay counties that are poised to be adopted in other counties.
Many farmers and ranchers are looking to diversify their operations and need guidance and resources to do so.
A North Bay Food Systems Advisor would be able to take advantage of this situation and bring the potential of a vibrant, sustainable food system to Northern California.
Posted Jun 27, 2012 7:57 PM by Wendy Krupnick
As the co-founder of Cowgirl Creamery, a local cheese company, I am dependent on the viability of Sonoma and Marin county dairies. Without local milk, we simply could not make cheese. Many farmers and ranchers are looking to diversify their operations to include cheesemaking and other value added food production on their land. Because they have never marketed directly to consumers, they need guidance and resources accomplish this goal.
I serve on the board of directors of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust which has helped farmers hold onto their land. The next step is to assist the landholders in prospering on the farm instead of struggling to survive. A North Bay Food Systems Advisor will help our local farmers to succeed in these efforts.
Posted Jun 28, 2012 7:17 PM by sue conley
Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) recognizes the significant need for and value of a North Bay Food Systems Advisor. AIM operates 8 certified markets in the greater Bay Area. Having operated the first certified farmers market in Marin County for the last 30 years, we have seen so much change and diversification in local agriculture, including very few farmers involved in direct marketing in the North Bay when we started 30 years ago to a growing number of producers choosing direct marketing to help them make a viable living. With change and evolution in local food production and distribution, we are also faced with new needs for support staff and programs that help with the changing landscape of local agriculture.

A North Bay Food Systems Advisor could be of great assistance to the following:
• our efforts to provide direct marketing venues for our new and emerging farmers
• the need for more aggregation and infrastructure for small scale producers
• support for local food council work in policy development that supports local food security and access

There is a strong need for an advisor who can work across our North Bay region to help us link similar efforts into one.
Posted Jul 12, 2012 11:06 AM by Leah Smith, Director of Programs
The position of North Bay Food Systems Advisor would greatly contribute to the effort already in motion to bolster food system alliances in the region. As a member of the Sonoma County Food System Alliance and the NCRFSN, we fully support the creation of this position.
Posted Jul 13, 2012 2:17 PM by Terry Garrett
The Public Health Departments of Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties share a serious concern about the high rates of food insecurity within our counties. We have begun to plan strategies to gain better data on food insecuity and to develop approaches to this issue that can be applied across the north bay region to make significant changes in the food system. We recognize the regional nature of our food system and the need to work together the address this and other critical health issues that are related to our communities' nutritional status. A North Bay Food Systems Advisor would be a tremendous asset to us in helping to coordinate our work with that of the agricultural sector and other food system partners. Building a inter-disciplinary approach to addressing nutritionally related health issues is crucial to improving the overall health of our communities. A NBFSA would be a key player in creating this kind of comprehensive approach.
Posted Jul 27, 2012 1:51 PM by Dr. Karen Smith, Napa County Public Health Officer
The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services recognizes UCCE as a critical partner for increasing access to healthy foods for Marin residents. We look forward to UCCE’s efforts to revitalize the Marin Food Policy Council and linking this work with priorities in the Countywide Healthy Eating / Active Living Strategic Framework and the Department’s Nutrition Education / Obesity Prevention (NEOP) funding. We recognize the critical role that a Northbay Food System Advisor in supporting a regional approach to local agriculture which will increase access to healthy foods for all Marin residents.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 1:25 PM by Rebecca Smith
The Napa County Board of Supervisors and County Executive Officer highly value our partnership with the University of California Cooperative Extension. The proposed North Bay Food Systems Advisor would bring critical capability to that partnership to address our regional needs to expand the capacity of our food systems. The proposed position will focus resources and expertise to the issues of infrastructure and agribusiness viability that our local small and medium-scale farmers face in their endeavors to maintain viability through diversification. Collectively, the North Bay is a critical foodshed for the Bay Area. There is great potential for this Advisor to develop appropriate and sustainable solutions to the infrastructure and capacity challenges faced by livestock and specialty crop producers that will have lasting impact for Napa and beyond.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 10:12 AM by Napa County Agricultural Commissioner David Whitmer, on behalf of the Napa County Board of Supervisors

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